Should School Days Be Longer?

Do you feel as though your classroom is just getting up to speed when BAM it’s time to go to lunch. After that, you only have an hour or two to tackle the rest of your lesson plan and then BAM it’s time to go home. President Obama thinks the schools days around the country are simply too short. He says extended time in the classroom is an idea worth considering, especially since students in other countries, on average, spend about a month longer in the classroom per year.

Did You Know?

  • In Japan, students go to school 243 days out of the year.
  • In Israel, students go to school 216 days out of the year.
  • In England, students go to school 192 days out of the year.
  • In the U.S., students go to school 180 days out of the year.

President Barack Obama believes in order for U.S. students to be competitive globally, they need more time in the classroom. One parent agrees that something needs to be done. Mike O’Shea says, “I think we are clearly in a situation where education isn’t working, so if other countries are doing things that seem to be working probably our best posture is to learn from them. If it’s a technique that’s working in other places, then it’s something maybe we should look at.”

The president also announced that his administration has set a goal of recruiting 10,000 science, technology, engineering and math teachers over the next two years to help the United States compete.

Why Days Should Be Extended and How

According to the ABC News affiliate in Toledo, Ohio, there are many people who think the school days needs to be lengthened asap:

Steve Bell says, “We need to get our education up to speed and get our kids competent in science and math. And it needs to reflect a business type of environment instead of an agricultural setting in which it has been based upon.”

The Greater Toledo Urban League president likes the idea of longer school hours. He thinks more time should be given for students to retain concepts of the day through repetition.

GTUL president John C. Jones says, “I know when I was in school it was sort of difficult, learn a new concept, try to do the homework on my own. I was struggling, but if I could have that teacher there or a volunteer maybe that knows the concept and has been trained in it and can help the process by staying in school a little longer, it could solidify the core standard you are trying to teach.”

TPS school board member Larry Sykes also likes the idea and says the community should have public forums to get everyone involved in a discussion aimed at improving schools. Sykes says, “We have to quit criticizing children for conditions they have no control over. They can’t pick their parents, they can’t pick their household that they grow up in, and understand that they are God’s gift to us, and we have to help raise and nurture them and give them the best to make them great.” -ABC News

What Do You Think?

In Japan, middle school students spend their extra time studying and retaining what they’ve learned that day going over homework with teachers. There’s no word on what this proposal would cost U.S districts.

What do you think? Should schools have their days lengthened by an hour or two? Would this interfere too much with athletics and other schedules? What are the downsides of extending the school day? Is it purely a budgetary issue or will parents actually complain that they don’t want their kids in school for a little bit longer? Weigh in down in the comments, I look forward to hearing your opinion!


  1. Anthony D

    November 10, 2010 at 3:18 am

    the problem with this is that we teach American students they are not groomed got the longer school day. I worked in a charter school where we went 200 days and 1 hour longer and the kids were exhausted by the end of the day.

  2. Alyssa

    December 16, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Lengthening the school year and even the days would negatively affect people in schools. Kids who go to high school won't be able to get as many hours as they did in an after school job. These kids may also have less time to participate in after school sports.
    Any kid will be affected by this, they won't be able to see their parents as much as they used to. Meaning they won't be able to learn as many morals as they should. Also, lengthening the school year will also put more stress on the teachers and students as well. The teachers will have to plan more for the school year and watch after the kids more. Many students may be compelled to leave school at the usual hour rather than the extra hours they have left. Regardless if they get in trouble for it or not.
    Shortening summer is also going to negatively affect the kids. How? Well, they won't see their parents as much and let's face it, they all need a break. Instead of recklessly increasing the school year how about sticking to how it used to be for years? Why change it now? Doesn't that seem pretty pointless if we're used to (and comfortable) with this system already?

  3. Mrs. Baird's Great Expectations Class

    October 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Our 7th grade class thinks that this issue has pros and cons.

    Students will learn more materials.
    Students can receive more help.
    Students will have more time for hands-on projects.
    If the school year was longer, students wouldn’t forget as much material over a long summer break.

    Students will be too tired.
    Students will misbehave because they resent the change.
    Students won’t be able to spend as much time with their family.
    It will cost more money to extend the school year.
    If the day is extended, students will get home too late.
    Students won’t have time to complete homework if the day is extended.
    Students would miss out on extracurricular activities.

    Out of 10 students, 4 students would extend the school year or day, 3 students would not extend the school year or day, and 3 students are undecided.